Nick clenched his jaw as he watched Ellie laugh with Jake at the barbecue being thrown in Gibbs’ backyard.
How his best friend didn't see what fake scum her husband was, he didn't know.
But he told himself from the beginning that he would let her figure it out for herself, and he'd be there for her when she finally did.
Nick didn't know why the guy set him on edge even from the first meeting, at first he thought it was because his attraction to Ellie, maybe he was just jealous. But as time passed, he realized it was Jake himself. What about Jake, he didn't know yet.
Everyone knew he and Jake disliked each other but for different reasons. Nick because of previous mentions, but Jake didn't like him just for the fact he was jealous of how close he and Ellie were.
It wasn't his fault he was better company than her boring ass husband.
Nick took a swing of his beer.
“Don't overdo it Torres.” Gibbs grumbled as he took the seat beside him.
“No worries Gibbs.”
“He's not worth getting drunk over.”
Nick let out a breath. Gibbs was the only one he knew of that agreed with his thoughts about Jake. Both of them were waiting for the guy to screw up.
They both watched as the twins ran over to them, Jake right away tensing up even backing up a little. Ellie frowned at him practically giving him the stink eye before bending down to now give her full attention to the twins.
“Yeah-” Gibbs grinned. “It's only a matter of time Torres.”
“How do you know that?”
“She wants kids, and his reaction right there? Put thoughts in her head. Just have some patience.”
He sucked at being patient.
It seemed he didn't have to wait long.
His phone rang at one in the morning, her name flashing across it. Nick still felt like he was half asleep as he scrambled to grab it off the nightstand.
“Ellie?” He croaked out, his voice rough from sleep.
“I'm outside your door..can you let me in?”
Nick frowned at how stuffy she sounded but hung up, getting out of bed to let her in.
His guard was up the second he saw her.
Her eyes were red and puffy, dried tears still on her cheeks, hair looking as if she ran her hand through it constantly, and as if the weight of the world was on her shoulders.
Nick immediately pulled her in and shut the door, wrapping her in his arms. Ellie sunk against him, her body relaxing a little at the contact.
“He's been cheating.” She whispered.
He felt his body tense. “What?”
“Jake has been cheating with some woman from work.” She whispered again. “I saw them out together before but he fed me some lie and I believed it for a bit..but then he came home late and made some excuse but I just had this gut feeling..” She breathed out. “So I confronted him about it and he told me the truth this time..”
“Why didn't you tell me any of this Ellie?” Nick whispered, swallowing down all the anger he felt at that moment.
“I didn't want to make things worse between you two..I know you guys especially you were only civil for my sake..”
“I'm so sorry Ellie.” He kissed her head.
“Can I stay here for a while?”
“Anytime. How about we go watch one of those pointless dumb comedy movies.”
“It's one in the morning and you were sleeping.” She pointed out.
Nick shrugged, leading her to the couch. “You come first Ell.”
It didn't take him long to find Jake two days later. Ellie was hiding out in his apartment after he had talked her out of running to Oklahoma and most likely freaking Barbara out with worry.
And besides, he knew she wasn't ready to tell people yet and going back home meant telling her family.
Jake was on his way to his regular coffee shop when Nick spotted him.
“Jake!” He called, right away seeing the man in question tense up and a look of fear cross his face.
Nick didn't let him finish, instead he swung his fist back and slammed it into Jake's face.
Jake stumbled back, quickly going to hold his bleeding nose.
“ That was for cheating on Ellie. I knew there was something about you but cheating on her?!”
“It's not like I meant to-”
Nick scoffed. “Save it asshole, it wasn't even one time, you continued to do it so you can't try and justify it or make excuses!”
“Ellie will he fine.” Jake groaned out, cringing at the blood.
“And why's that! She's your wife! She's heartbroken-”
Jake scoffed. “How can she be heartbroken when she's in love with you?”
Nick gaped at him. He froze, letting Jake have the opportunity to walk away.
Time passed and Ellie was still staying at his apartment instead of finding another apartment to live, she refused to go back to the apartment she had which resulted in her giving it to Jake (after telling him to shove the key up his ass and kneeing him).
Nick didn't mind one bit, but Jake's words looped in his head all the time.
As he walked into the apartment after his run, he stopped short seeing Ellie standing by the door, wide grin on her face.
“Uh..I'm not gonna find a murdered Jake in my living room am I?”
“Well you just looked so happy-”
Ellie huffed and swatted at him. “I'm happy because I'm officially divorced!”
“What!” Nick grinned and grabbed her, spinning her around.
She laughed before shoving away from him. “Ew you're all sweaty!”
“Never mind that! How do you wanna celebrate? Tossing eggs at his car? Paintball gun? Or an old fashioned bat?”
Ellie rolled her eyes. “We aren't ruining his car or anything of his.”
“That's no fun.” Nick whined.
“I actually..had another idea.”
“Nick..I..while it hurt what Jake did, it didn't hurt like it should have.”
He swallowed as his heart started to race. It seemed this was the moment of truth.
“Why's that?” He asked, surprised at how steady his voice was.
“Because..I know it was wrong but I couldn't help but-” She bit her lip. “-have feelings for you..feelings that go far beyond best friends.”
Nick gave her a reassuring smile though what he really wanted to do was grin, she did have feelings for him.
“You aren't alone, Ellie.”
She looked at him a little wide eyed.
“I've liked you practically since first meeting you.” He admitted. “It pissed me off knowing you were married to him .”
Ellie suddenly smirked. “Good so my plan to celebrate won't make things awkward.”
Nick gave her a confused look as she started walking in the direction of his bedroom.
Until she turned to smirk at him once more, slipping her shirt off and tossing it aside.
“I can always celebrate alone..” Ellie teased.
He gaped at her, his eyes landing on the lacy bra she was wearing.
It took him only two more seconds to rush over to her, pulling her body against his as he kissed her. Ellie smiled against his lips as she pulled him towards the bedroom.
Much better then ruining his car.